According to the official Python website:
Python and Perl come from a similar background (Unix scripting, which both have long outgrown) [to learn more about that check this tutorial], and sport many similar features, but have a different philosophy. Perl emphasizes support for common application-oriented tasks, e.g. by having built-in regular expressions, file scanning and report generating features. Python emphasizes support for common programming methodologies such as data structure design and object-oriented programming, and encourages programmers to write readable (and thus maintainable) code by providing an elegant but not overly cryptic notation. As a consequence, Python comes close to Perl but rarely beats it in its original application domain; however Python has an applicability well beyond Perl’s niche.
I couldn’t explain better than that. But still I have to give my take on why I prefer Python over Perl, and why I decided to use it in my day-to-day programming. First I have to admit that I am lousy Perl programmer (not even close to an apprentice monger) and I always get confused by its syntax. Second I come from a Basic/Pascal/C++ background, all of them having slightly better syntaxes than Perl. Thus, it was natural to get on the Python bandwagon, and as the paragraph above states Python code is “extremely” readable (emphasis are mine); in no-time you can grasp it completely. OK, I admit that it has at least one odd feature : the “mandatory” indentation. In Python you have to tabulate (using tabs or space <– recommended) loops, if clauses, functions, anything. Maybe this is the first and only hard step to get, but after a couple of hours of coding you will be satisfied on how good your code look.